July 22, 2009

Enni Id, Decorated House

this picture and the next four (2018)
courtesy of Sophie Lepetit
Life and works

Enni Id (1904-1992) was born in the rural community of Padasjoki in Finland. At age twenty she run away from home to stay with an aunt who lived in Helsinki and had a small company that manufactured clothing.

In 1929 she got married, but her husband died in 1936 and she returned to Padasjoki, where in 1939 she married Edvard Id.

Enni Id liked to sketch and paint, but during the time she lived in marriage her new husband would not tolerate this. He would use her paintings to isolate the walls and the ceiling of their home, the painted side out of sight.

This second marriage lasted for over 25 years and when her husband died in 1966, Enni Id, who was in her early sixties, felt happy she could indulge her passion for painting.

It became kind of an outburst. 

She covered all walls and floors of the cabin, but also the furniture and other domestic objects with decorations and images, mainly of flowers, plants and cats. The ceilings remained untouched to maintain a connection with the sky above.

This weblog has other examples of women who at a later age began decorating their house, such as Bonaria Manca from Italy and Polina Rayko from Ukraine (see also the documentation).

Enni Id also made paintings on canvas, her favorite themes being landscapes, angels, devils, animals and elements from the Cudgel War.

Her paintings have been shown in a 1973 exposition of naive art in the Kunsthalle in Helsinki.

This exhibition and illustrated articles in magazines and newspapers gave her at age seventy some reputation in Finland.

Her art was also represented in the 2005 outsider art exposition In another world in the Kiasma museum in Helsinki.

Many of Enni Id's paintings currently are in private collections.

The house has been renovated

Enni Id's house was legated to the community and it currently is cared for by the local village action association Kellosalmi-Seitniemi-Virmaila kyläyhdistys ry

The property needed renovation and this has been done with funds from the Päijänne-Leader association, a regional association that promotes developments in this rural area.

this picture and the next one (2015) by Minna Haveri

The roof has been renewed and the exterior walls have been repainted. Currently the cottage can be visited (on Sundays in summer).

Enni Id in relation with art environments

In 2015 the Kokkola ITE-museum (outsider art museum) in Finland, had an exposition about some Finnish outsider artists who abundantly decorated their home, among whom Enni Id. The picture below shows how she was featured.

The permanent collection of the ITE-museum includes a number of works by Enni Id.

Hermitage weblog (July 2010) reviews three female artists Enni Id, Polina Rayko and Bonaria Manca
* Website of the Heinänen Art Foundation  with pictures of Enni Id's paintings
* Article on Finnish website ITE-taide
* Facebook page 
* Weblog of Sophie Lepetit with a large series of photos (2018) 
* Article (August 2020) on the weblog of Marjon Matkassa, with a series of pictures of the interior of the cabin

* Video by Karl Kartiala (YouTube, 8'39", published August 2017)

* Video (March, 2023) by Middle of Nowhere on Facebook, cannot be embedded here

first published July 2009, last revised March 2020

Enni Id
Decorated House 
Kellosalmentie 579
17500 Padasjoki, Päijät-Häme, region Southern Finland, Finland
can be visited  on Sundays in summer


  1. Those cats seem full of purpose, with their unnerving gaze.

  2. The repression, most of the times, is the origin of an outbburst of creativity. It seems like Enni tried to recover the lost time and expressed it with every single brushstroke, and with every drawn line. Agree with ArtSparker about the cats also.

  3. From Finland to Spain ! Covering all of Europe... I wonder what sets some people off at some point to decide to conceive and execute these large-scale art and decoration projets... while the vast majority of people do not embark on such inspired missions...

  4. "Like opening a finely wrapped present"out of the box Delightful